After initial hiccups, States now account for half of the total procurements done through the government's own online platform for public procurement - GeM.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to bring transparency in public procurement has been a big success. The online marketplace created for the purpose has seen huge volumes from both the central and state government departments with states accounting for a half of the total purchases made through the online marketplace GeM.
Centre and state governments, including public sector undertakings, every year spend over Rs 3 lakh crore on procuring various goods and services and GeM aims to capture half of this market in next four-five years.
According to the information given by finance minster Piyush Goyal in the interim budget, the total value of procurement through GeM in this financial year so far has been pegged at Rs 17,500 crore.
Since its launch in August 2016. the Union government has been nudging the state governments to procure through GeM platform to ensure transparency in their purchases.
GeM CEO Radha Chauhan, who initiated this project as a proof of concept during her stint as the head of government’s National E Governance project, hopes to notch the total transactions worth Rs 25,000 crore in this financial year with half of it coming from state governments.
“The share of states in the procurement through GeM portal has become equal to that of union government,” GeM CEO Radha Chauhan told Financial Express Online, adding that more than 28 states have so far signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government’s own online platform.
“There are states that have not yet signed an MoU with us but they have been sourcing through GeM platform,” said the top officer who has been at the helm of affairs since the stage of proof of concept of this project.
She, however, admits that if a state has signed an MoU with the GeM that does not mean that all the organs of that states have automatically come on board.
“They (states) all will have to do reprocessing of their current rules, regulations, their committees that are there,” said Radha Chauhan, adding that it’s not a one step process.